September 25, 2009 / 3:50 AM / 8 years ago

Travel Picks: Cheers! Oktoberfests outside Germany

<p>Elke Buedenbender (R), wife of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister and candidate for chancellor of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) salutes with youths during her visit at the Munich Oktoberfest, September 23, 2009. REUTERS/Michael Dalder</p>

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - The original Oktoberfest is underway in Munich but beer lovers who can’t make it to Germany don’t necessarily need to miss the fun with a list of Oktoberfests now held in cities across the globe.

Travel website Travel and Leisure (www.travelandleisure.com) has come up with a list of alternative beer-fests, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Philippines: Multiple cities, Sept 4 - Oct 9

Run in various locations across the Philippines, San Miguel Brewery has added a limited-edition Oktoberfest Beer to its menu this year as it hosts 30 street parties in key cities.

2. Blumenau, Brazil: October 1-18, 2009

This charming town full of Germanic architecture, founded by German immigrants in 1850, still has a sizeable number of German-speakers who cling to their Old World traditions. It even has a beer museum. The city’s 26th annual Oktoberfest will be staged this year in a recreated German Village called the Vila Parque Germanica.

3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: October 6-11

What Ho Chi Minh City’s Oktoberfest, celebrated since 1992, lacks in the way of lederhosen is made up for by its sheer energy. The Windsor Plaza’s Jade Ballroom is the stand-in for Munich’s Theresienwiese, the field where the beer tents are erected each year, and is filled with long wooden tables and benches as you would find in the beer halls of Germany.

4. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: October 9-17

The German roots in these twin towns run deep with both boasting a number of German-speaking citizens, and Kitchener was formerly named Berlin. Oktoberfest here is one of the largest outside Germany, with more than 700,000 guests expected.

5. Lima, Peru: October 15-18

Launched in 2002, the Lima Oktoberfest takes place under a massive tent in the city’s Videna sports complex. The stage will be rocking with oompah music, beer-drinking contests, schuhplattler dancing, and alpenhorn trios. The event has proved so popular that a sister beer fest has started up in Cuzco.

6. Bangalore, India: October 23-25

The organizers of the fifth Great Indian October Fest have promised “a safe environment for the entire family” with the event held on the grounds of Bangalore Palace. The festival features rock bands, flea markets, a car show, a beer tent, and food reflecting the traditions of both Bangalore and Bavaria.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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